Anterior cervical osteophytes are commonly found in elderly patients, but rarely produce symptoms. When symptoms occur, they can range from mild symptoms of dysphagia, dysphonia, and foreign body sensation to severe symptoms of airway obstruction due to compression of the pharynx or larynx. We report the case of a 59-year-old man who underwent brain tumor surgery, and developed post-operative respiratory difficulty due to progressive pharyngo-laryngeal edema, requiring urgent endotracheal intubation, secondary to the presence of a previously asymptomatic anterior cervical osteophyte. It is paramount to recognize that asymptomatic anterior cervical osteophytes are a potential cause of life-threatening post-operative respiratory complications that can rapidly progress to life-threatening airway obstruction after surgeries in the prone position, especially in elderly patients.
- Anterior osteophyte
- Prone position
- Respiratory difficulty
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine